Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bangladeshi women prefer pollution-causing cookstoves

Date:
June 29, 2012
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Women in rural Bangladesh prefer inexpensive, traditional stoves for cooking over modern ones despite significant health risks, according to a new study.

A full 98% of Bangladesh's people prefer to cook with traditional stoves that burn a combination of wood, agricultural residue, and animal dung.
Credit: Image courtesy of Yale University

Women in rural Bangladesh prefer inexpensive, traditional stoves for cooking over modern ones -- despite significant health risks, according to a Yale study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Related Articles


A large majority of respondents (94%) believed that indoor smoke from the traditional stoves is harmful. Still, Bangladeshi women opted for traditional cookstove technology so they could afford basic needs.

"Non-traditional cookstoves might be more successful if they were designed with features valued more highly by users, such as reducing operating costs even if they might not reduce environmental impact," said Mushfiq Mobarak, a co-author and associate professor of economics at the Yale School of Management.

In most rural homes, where there is no electricity, food is cooked over an open fire using wood, agricultural residue, and animal dung, known together as "biomass." Exposure to this pollution causes 50,000 deaths in Bangladesh a year and over 2 million worldwide. The release of black carbon is also a significant source of greenhouse gases.

Fully 98% of Bangladesh's 131 million people cook with biomass using traditional stoves, despite years of efforts by governments and health organizations to promote models that are fuel-efficient and have chimneys. Moreover, 92% of 2,280 Bangladeshi households surveyed between July and September 2008 had never seen a non-traditional cookstove.

"The adoption and use of these non-traditional cookstoves in the developing world have, with few exceptions, remained disappointingly low," said Puneet Dwivedi, a co-author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES).

When given a hypothetical choice between a cash subsidy and a non-traditional cookstove, the respondents overwhelmingly said they would prefer to spend money on doctors, schools, electricity, clean water, latrines, seeds for planting, and structures to protect their land from flooding.

"Household budgetary concerns appear to dominate any health concerns associated with smoke from non-traditional cookstoves," said Robert Bailis, associate professor of environmental social science at F&ES.

The researchers also conducted a randomized controlled trial in 42 villages in the Bangladeshi districts of Hatiya and Jamlpur to estimate how sensitive Bangladeshi households are to the price of non-traditional cookstoves.

They found that the demand for non-traditional cookstoves at both market and highly subsidized prices is very low and that demand is particularly sensitive to price. At full price, the adoption rate for chimney cookstoves was 2% -- 5% for efficiency models. In addition, a 50% discount resulted only in a 12% increase in the adoption of efficiency models and a 5% increase in the adoption of stoves with chimneys.

"We find consistent evidence across both analyses suggesting that women in rural Bangladesh do not perceive indoor air pollution as a significant health hazard," said Dwivedi.

Lynn Hildemann and Grant Miller of Stanford University are the other co-authors of the paper, "Low Demand for Nontraditional Cookstove Technologies."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. M. Mobarak, P. Dwivedi, R. Bailis, L. Hildemann, G. Miller. Low demand for nontraditional cookstove technologies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1115571109

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Bangladeshi women prefer pollution-causing cookstoves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120629142535.htm>.
Yale University. (2012, June 29). Bangladeshi women prefer pollution-causing cookstoves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120629142535.htm
Yale University. "Bangladeshi women prefer pollution-causing cookstoves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120629142535.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins